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Old 2012-07-14, 04:22 AM   [Ignore Me] #54
Second Lieutenant
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Re: Israel

So I'm really not going to get into the whole Israel vs Palestine 'debate' because, as with the actual conflict, neither side is going to adjust their outlook regardless of what the other says. I actually travelled to Israel when I was 17 on business specifically relating to the conflict. My visit was for research purposes so I spent much of my time talking with the citizens of Israel and trying to better understand their mindset having grown up myself in a liberal middle class UK family.

Reading this thread I'm reminded of my overwhelming memory from the trip; the overly politicised, combative and (to a greater or lesser extent) the aggressive nature of everyone I spoke to as soon as anyone mentioned the country or anything relating to Palestinians. I remember being at a cafe with a slight older Israeli man. We were playing Chess and chatting when he asked me what I thought of Israel. Wanting to be polite I was listing things I considered complimentary until I apparently hit a conversational land-mine;

Me: ".... Yeah, I'd like to come back and travel across the whole country. Everything is so close here, it's like you could walk from one side of it to the other!"
His previously warm demeanour instantly changes. He gives me the thousand yard stare.
Him: "And that's a good thing, is it?!"

One thing the Op said caught my eye a few pages ago. "Your (sic) not trying to kill me with aggressive arguments, that's refreshing". I think that's an unintentional insight into the typical - at least in my experience - mindset of an Israeli on this subject. Even the most friendly and otherwise calm people seem to become aggressive, almost militaristic in their expressions and their attitude. Personally, coming from a country where apathy is considered 'cool', at 17 I found this fascinating, if a little intimidating!

Last edited by Dart; 2012-07-14 at 04:44 AM.
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